The Single Mom’s Guide to Estate Planning

Today, 1 in 4 children under the age of 18 are being raised without a father. 

As a single mother, you carry the tremendous responsibility for making sure your children are healthy, happy, and well-protected.

From diapers to college applications, you are there for your kids for the rest of their lives. Estate planning helps provide the invaluable peace of mind for if and when an emergency occurs.

Let’s get into what you need to know. 

Wills

All parents should have a will. A will indicates the person responsible for your estate and what you want to happen to your estate in the event of your death.

Without a will naming guardianship, the state will determine what happens to your children. As a single parent, you absolutely must make a will- especially if your children as still underage. 

Revocable Living Trusts

Living trusts have numerous benefits, especially if your children are too young to manage their assets properly.

With this trust, you manage your assets while alive. However, if you die or become incapacitated, the person you designate then takes over your assets and makes the appropriate distributions.

This option is not just for minors. Even if you have young adults, you may not be sure they can handle the inexplicable stressors associated with a sudden windfall.

This trust requires that you indicate a trusted individual who will make the best choices for your estate, with the intention that the money is used appropriately.

Furthermore, such a trust allows you to avoid probate. Probate processes can be very tedious, draining, and expensive, so you want to avoid them!

Power of Attorney

As a single parent, you likely tackle all the financial management on your own. However, what would happen if something were to happen to you? Who would pay your bills or access your accounts?

Assigning a power of attorney for your financial affairs delegates your financial tasks to a trusted individual.

Beneficiary Forms

If you have life insurance or retirement accounts, like a 401k, you should consult with an estate planning lawyer about the appropriate strategies for these designations.

Currently, minors cannot access or control assets. You may have to appoint a guardian to manage them until the minor becomes an adult.

Advance Health Care Directive

Chances are, you do not like imagining a terrible medical catastrophe. That said, there is a chance it could happen, and you owe it to your children to be prepared.

Your health care directive enables you to name someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf regarding healthcare choices.

This directive can include vouching for a variety of medical treatments including tube feeding, resuscitation, kidney dialysis, antibiotics, and organ and tissue donation.

Final Thoughts On Estate Planning 

As a single parent, you manage several responsibilities every single day. While it may seem morbid to prepare for your death, you want to make sure your children receive the care and support they need.

Are you interested in learning more about your family’s estate planning needs? Contact us today! 

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